PLEASANT HILL -- After years without raises, the Contra Costa County school board has approved pay increases for Superintendent Joseph Ovick, as well as for themselves.
"He has longevity, he has leadership skills and he has done a marvelous job," said Trustee Pamela Mirabella on Friday. "I really appreciate what he's done with presenting the budget and his community leadership -- coordinating people in order to have partnerships with the business folks. So, the pay raise that we gave him is for the last three years of working."
The board approved a collective 3 percent increase in compensation for Ovick on May 8 that mirrors increases recently approved for employees in several bargaining units. Ovick will receive a 1 percent salary increase retroactive to July 1, and a 2 percent increase effective Jan. 1. He will also receive a one-time, 3 percent bonus based on his annual salary of $199,249, retroactive to 2011-12. Ovick's pension could be based on his new salary if he retires when his term expires in December 2014. He has said he won't seek reelection.
Ovick, who was not present at the meeting when trustees voted on his raise, thanked them at the May 22 meeting. He then told them he would prepare an item for the June 4 meeting recommending raises for them, according to the minutes. No one from the public spoke about the raises.
The board voted to approve their own raises at the June 4 meeting. The board had gone several years without increases, Mirabella said. Their monthly stipends will increase by about $22 per month, from $441 to $463. This was the maximum 5 percent increase allowed by law, Mirabella said.
Although Ovick's recommendation to increase compensation for trustees came on the heels of their decision to give him a raise, Mirabella said it didn't feel like payback.
"I did not feel that way at all," she said. "I would say it's been about 10 or 12 years since we had an increase."
Mirabella said the board also asked for additional money to be set aside in the budget for conferences.
Peggy Marshburn, spokeswoman for the County Office of Education, said she did not have exact figures for Ovick's new salary after the pay increases. Ovick could not be reached for comment.
According to the staff report, Ovick was one of the lowest paid superintendents in the state for a county the size of Contra Costa. He was also making less than many district superintendents in the county.
Ovick's pension will be determined by the California State Teachers Retirement System, or CalSTRS, Marshburn said.
Details about the County Board-approved pay raises is available by calling 925-942-3380 or by visiting www.cocoschools.org. Click on "County Board," then "Agendas and Minutes" for May 8, May 22 and June 5.